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Metamorphoses of Value in the Battle between Preservation and Allowing Decay.: New Museological Perspectives.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. ICOFOM International Committee for Museology. (museologi)
2015 (English)In: Nouvelle tendences de la museologi/New Trends in Museology, Paris: International Committee for Museology of the International Council of Museums (ICOM/UNESCO) , 2015, Vol. Vol43b, 263-282 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It seems that nothing that occurs in our society today may pass untouched by the hand of preservation, which treats every happening as a past in becoming. If preservation is a product of modernity, as I will argue, so is our multifaceted and complicated relationship to objects – our obsessive desire of consuming goods.


Museums are bulging under the pressure of their enormous collections. Museum collection and heritage management require ever more funds; this has become a major political issue in the post-modern society. Experts together with politicians governed by economic rationalities, battle with the issue of what to preserve, and what to let go. At the same time, in another realm of reality, we are producing billions of tons of trash and refuse every year – material stuff, of which a large part ends up in the oceans, or in enormous landfills all over the world, tightly packed and, without question, very well preserved for coming generations of archaeologists to dig up.


Museology is supposed to study – among other things – man’s “specific relation” to reality, particularly the material reality, and to offer guidance in how to cope with heritage in the future. This paper presents a post-humanist approach to museums and preservation at the one end and our everyday material discards and destruction of value at the other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Paris: International Committee for Museology of the International Council of Museums (ICOM/UNESCO) , 2015. Vol. Vol43b, 263-282 p.
, ICOFOM Study Series, ISSN 2309-1290 ; Vol.43b
Keyword [en]
museum studies, museology, heritage, material culture, disposals debate
Keyword [sv]
museer, samlingar, gallring, lämningar, problematiskt kulturarv
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-111918ISBN: 978-92-9012-414-6OAI: diva2:968206
Nouvelle tendences de la museologie. 5-9 Juin 2014. Paris Sorbonne
Available from: 2016-09-12 Created: 2015-11-25 Last updated: 2016-09-12

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